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Sustainability metrics

Published on March 17, 2015

Creating and participating in a sustainability program have been important steps taken by our company. Meaningful sustainability metrics and indexes help measure our progress.

The following graphs help illustrate our operating history and how we are constantly improving our sustainability goals.

sustainability metrics

This first graph shows our energy consumption over the years. Initially, it increased due to expansion of our growing data facility. This number is important because electricity is the most precious resource available that we use. As a matter of sustainability we actively manage how much energy we use and determine ways to better use or even reduce that amount as we move forward.

The graph also illustrates that starting in the fall of 2008, the consumption growth rate of electricity began slowing down. This was due in part to a slowdown in demand for dedicated infrastructure, as well as our transitioning to newer server equipment of our own design that required less energy. For example, as our infrastructure grew by 30%, our additional energy demand for that growth only increased by 20 to 25%. As we moved into 2010, energy demand really started slowing down as we offlined older equipment and implemented newer servers with even greater energy savings. In the years since, energy demand has dropped, as we continue to design and implement newer, more efficient servers.

sustainability metrics

Building on the first graph, the second graph shows a marked decrease in average energy usage per individual server in our hosting environment. As a general rule, computer technology is increasingly efficient due to micronization of hardware components (such as transistor width in CPUs) or smaller and more efficient power supplies that provide more stable service with fewer energy fluctuations or spikes.

Beyond this, we have continuously implemented server and infrastructure hardware that requires less electricity that provides equivalent or better performance as compared to older technologies. This has required that we not use “off the shelf” servers, but instead that we design and hand-build them ourselves. This way, we research the types of servers that work best for our hosting environment, customize their configurations, and perform our own benchmark tests so we have statistical data to ensure the newer servers are truly an improvement in the right direction.

With an average server drawing 2.1Amps of electricity in 2005, and the newest servers drawing only 0.7 to 0.8Amps, this means that moving forward we can fit three times as many servers into the same energy footprint from five years ago. The savings are dramatic, when you multiply that by recent as well as projected growth.

sustainability metrics

The final graph is the metric that tells the real story of our sustainability program. As our business has grown, and our energy efficiency per server improved, so has our capacity to handle more and more customers per energy unit consumed. Despite using six times as much energy as in 2005, our reduction in overall energy usage per server has enabled rapid growth of our customer base as measured in total websites we host.

Our capacity of sites per Amp is now ten times what it was in 2005. This means the energy footprint per website has dropped to 1/10 of what it used to be. What this means to the average user: Canvas Host clients are truly hosting their sites and services with a greener Web host. They can say to their customers that their site is sustainably powered and hosted in an environment friendlier manner as compared to other Web hosts that do not use metrics or that do not participate in such a sustainability program.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the metrics and indexes reported on this page, or if you’d like to learn more about our Sustainability program.